Why Defoe should be Fab’s main man

by Dexy Longshot

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Is this the end for Boy Wonder?

Like my sex life, it’s been a while but I’m back this week to run over the question on every Englishman’s lips, no, not when will Dexy finally get a shag or will Becks get his 100th cap, but the issue according to St Michael. With the 3 Lions facing 11 frogs next week, will Fabio again ignore Owen and leave him on the bench in gay Paris?

Michael Owen, the one time boy wonder is now 28, it is almost 10 years since he scored “that” goal against the Argies. Back then, he had the world at his lightning feet but has he fulfilled his full potential since? I think not and I fear Owen may be thinking the same. If you compare him to the follow up Boy Wonder Mark 2, Rooney Edition, there is a glaring omission in the Trophy list, a league title. Rooney was snapped up after an excellent Euro 2004 and went on to win the title with Manchester United and I believe will go on to win it again in May along with the Champions League. Owen on the over hand stayed on at Liverpool but never really challenged for Premiership status, yes he won plenty of trophies in the cup competitions down Cardiff way and a Uefa cup in the wonderful triple year of 2001. He starred in the England shirt that year as well as he pummelled the Germans in Munich with a hatrick, his finest hour. In his time at Liverpool, he made around 300 appearances scoring 161 goals, over a goal every 2 games, the stats of a top player.

It wasn’t enough for Owen, he wanted to fulfil his potential, he wanted a league title. The Galacticos of Real Madrid came calling in 2004 with Becks already at the club, Owen buckled and left Anfield to fulfil his title & Champions League dream but the Chester born goal scorer was found playing second fiddle to crowd favourites Raul & Ronaldo. In that season, he still managed to score an impressive 16 goals in 41 games despite most of them being as sub. Real didn’t win the title that year and to rub salt into the wound, Rafa Benitez took unfancied Liverpool to the Champions League final and won it!


Deep down, Owen must have been devastated. On the pitch, niggly injuries started to become a regular hindrance and his jet-propelled torso began to show signs of weakness. This may have been a factor when Rafa didn’t take him back to the Kop when he wanted to come home. Oh Michael, what might have been?

The Geordie chequebook soon came out when the big 4 didn’t want to know and Michael was soon the new Messiah on Tyneside, well he was for a few games until injuries struck once more in 2005. After being out for half the season, it was touch and go whether he would make it for the 2006 world cup but he just squeezed into Svens squad for the opener against Paraguay, only to be replaced by Stuart Downing after 56 minutes. 2 games later, he was out of the World cup after another sickening injury in the Sweden game. Another season of rehabilitation loom for unlucky Owen.

This season, started or should that be stop/started for Owen again. More lay-offs here and there have amounted to him playing just 16 games, 5 of them as sub and scoring just 5 goals. On Tuesday night, he salvaged an important point for the struggling toon army in front of Fabio Capello, a timely reminder for the Iron Sergeant before he finalises his squad tonight, but will Owen get the nod? I believe there are plenty of strikers who will feel miffed if Owen is giving preference. Rooney is a cert to start but others will want a say. Defoe, Johnson, Heskey, Crouch, Agbonlahour, Young and Ashton, does Owens 5 goals give him the clout to justify selection on current form? He has started the last 8 games for Newcastle so he is fit but he isn’t getting into the positions that made him one of the most feared strikers on the planet, I don’t think he is even the most feared striker at St James Park at the moment, I would prefer Martins on current form.

If I were Capello, I’d look no further than Jermaine Defoe, 6 goals in his last 6 outings is Juandes loss and Redknapps gain. I remember watching Defoe for the under 21’s when he was bizarrely left on the bench most of the time by Pob face Platt watching big timers Vassell and Francis Jeffers fluff chance after chance. When he did get on, he was cut above; words failed me sometimes on his omissions. His club form was exceptional when playing continuously, when on loan at Bournemouth, he scored 10 in 10 (I think that was a league record at the time) and his form for the hammers in his early years was excellent, he had pace, skill and could shoot from any angle, he was dynamite but was over-shadowed by the brilliance of a young Owen who was in his prime. Things went wrong for Defoe when he left for White Hart Lane when the Hammers were relegated in 2003. At the Spurs forward line merry-go-round, a lack of 1st team opportunities due mostly to rotation & the form of Kanoute, Keane and last season Berbatov has held back Defoe from the international set-up and this must have really hit home when he was left in Blighty while Sven preferred an out-of-his-depth Theo Walcott (Sven’s biggest mistake).

Jer man?

What you should look at is Defoes goals to games ratios, minutes on the pitch, shooting accuracy, completed dribbles, assists. If you give him games, he will score as he has demonstrated at Pompey. Bit part displays for England will not get the best out of him, I’d like Capello to start him for the next 3 or 4 games over the summer, as for Owen, I think the longer he stays at Newcastle the longer it will take him to reach Bobby Charlton’s 49 goals milestone.

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  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    You can’t argue with his record for England, but that’s all he has, stats and history books. Recently he has been very poor for both club and country. If Capello is going to start a fresh then he does need to drop the once world class pint sized goal getter altogether.

    I’m not sure if Defoe is the answer, but then who is? He is the best of a very bad bunch. He tends to stray into an offside position more than any other player, not including Inzaghi of course. There is no denying he can finish, but international football is a completely different game, I’m not sure if he can make the step up.

    Crouch can do a job, but he hardly has defenders quaking. Andy Johnson is average at best, Ashton can’t even get in front of Carlton Cole & Heskey has 1 goal all season.

    I would like to see Matt Derbyshire get a decent run in the Blackburn side. This guy can finish, is quick and has the knack of scoring goals.

    Failing that, I’m available if Capello needs me!

  • Dan Church

    How about Kevin Davies ? if all else fails he can just batter the oppos defence and then he can make way for one of the others in to walk the ball into the net…..

    in all seriousness, i reckon Agbonlahor is a good choice, quick, tidy and can score a nice or goal or 2.

  • Dan Church

    p.s. dont worry dexy, im ringing that Kelly bird tonight…ill let you know. Your barren run may be over soon.

  • rob pullinger

    The end im afraid to say, and he’s not boy wonder, that tag belongs to michael owen….

  • http://www.reviewsweb.net Daniel

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article s main man, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

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